‘Like a war zone’: Hurricane Laura lays waste to Louisiana’s ‘Cajun Riviera’

HOLLY BEACH, La. (AP) — The laidback stretch of coast known as Louisiana’s “Cajun Riviera” is nothing like its French namesake: Beachgoers are more likely to drink Bud Light than fine wine, and mobile homes and stilted houses take the place of luxury villas.

Hurricane Laura laid waste to the place, a low-cost paradise for oil industry workers, families and retirees, and it could be awhile before the good times roll again. Resident Robert Eggert hardly recognized Holly Beach, the area’s official name, after he came back Thursday to check the damage.

Near where he sat in his Ford SUV, utility poles tilted at odd angles and a sulfurous smell hung in the breeze. Stairs were ripped off brightly colored houses held aloft on stilts, and RVs pushed inland by the wind and water were clumped at the edge of a bayou.

Muddy, frothy waves pounded a littered beach where generations of Louisiana and east Texas residents have spent hours collecting shells, swimming, catching crabs and relaxing on the tan sand in view of offshore oil rigs.

“It should not look like a war zone,” said Eggert. “It’s vibrant, no debris. There are RVs, travel trailers, people, canopies, Jeeps, golf carts, flags. Life.”

Hurricane Laura:  Threat of tornadoes, heavy rain looms as tropical depression heads to Mid-Atlantic

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